Genres: Dark Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, YA & Teen.
eBook Cover Art by Shelley Schadowsky
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These woods were ancient and foreboding in daylight, and much more so at night. Nevertheless, the journey into their depths was underway, and it had better be a slow and quiet one. They began by criss-crossing their paths tree to tree, and bush to bush. So far, their curiosity trumped their fear as they steadfastly moved toward the chanting. The pumping adrenaline made them pant with excitement. At about fifty yards in, their eyes began to adjust to the darkness. It was just enough, anyway, to help them make their way toward the sound; one shrub and one gnarled tree-trunk at a time. But they still had a long way to go through the thicket, certainly another several hundred yards.
Deadman’s Swamp lay just ahead, and they’d have to veer to the right of it. Legend held it that the depths of that murky lake held the unclaimed bones of many a hanged witch from Salem’s terrible witching days of yore. Nary a bit of proof for it though, but the old trees seemed to shudder with stories they could not tell.
Staying close together, they crept between trees and the small rock formations that occasionally jutted out from the hillside. Every so often they locked onto one another’s eyes—both for reassurance, and to communicate their next cautious move. They were four or five hundred yards in now, and the chanting had grown much louder. Flickering flames and the smell of smoke grew more intense with each advancing step. They were soon within earshot of the fire’s crackle. Only another hundred more thicketed yards, or so, it seemed. But the closer they got, the more they wondered if closer was really what they wanted.